The branch office is one of the business forms available for foreign companies interested in setting up a presence in Cyprus. Although the Cypriot Government encourages foreign investments, it only allows resident representatives, authorized through a power of attorney, to set up branches within the country. It also requires a proof of a registered office.
Although the establishment of a Cypriot branch is the same as the registration procedure for a new company or even a subsidiary, this entity is a very different type of structure. For example, the branch has no legal personality on its own, but it is rather an extension of the parent company, which is completely liable for the branch’s debts and obligations but can also manage its profit.
Our company formation agents in Cyprus can explain the requirements related to setting up a branch office. We can also help the representatives of foreign companies register a branch office in Cyprus if they are interested in this business form.
The opening of a branch office in Cyprus implies respecting the provisions of the Company Law which provides for the creation of this business form in Chapter 113 according to which a foreign company must register its business seat in Cyprus within one month after starting its activities here.
Many foreign companies decide to operate through branches in Cyprus because:
The branch office must bear the same name as the parent company. Also, the foreign business is required to appoint a Cyprus resident to be its representative in the relation with the authorities in Cyprus.
Most branch offices operating in Cyprus activate in the financial and telecommunications fields. It is the duty of the parent company to obtain the necessary licenses for operating in these sectors. Financial companies must apply for specific licenses with the Central Bank of Cyprus, while telecom businesses must undergo authorization with the Department of Electronic Communications.
You can rely on our local agents if you want to open a company in Cyprus under the form of a branch office. We can also assist with VAT registration services in Cyprus.
We also invite you to watch our video on how to open a branch in Cyprus:
The first step to open a branch in Cyprus is to prepare the necessary documents, to notarize the Articles of Association of the company and to set up a bank account on its name. It is also mandatory to obtain a document certifying the capital deposit. The name of the branch, that should be the same as the parent company’s name, must be registered as a trademark. Our Cypriot company formation experts can help you gather the necessary documents, register the subsidiary and the trademark.
Before starting the branch’s registration procedure with the Official Registrar of Companies in Cyprus, a representative must be appointed through the power of attorney in order to carry on the establishment process. The representative will need to submit an application together with the following documents:
There is a one-stop shop opened at the Ministry of Commerce where a representative of the Registrar of Companies can be reached, however the majority of cases are resolved at the Registry itself. Within two or three days the Registry can issue in the name of the applicant a Certificate of Incorporation for the branch, together with a Certificate of Registration and Certificate of Directors and Shareholders.
With this Certificate of Registration, the representative must go to the Ministry of Commerce and submit an application for tax registration. The respective file must also contain a list of all directors’ and shareholders’ names and a detailed description of the parent company’s activities. The branch owner must also simultaneously file for VAT registration. If this company intends to hire employees, it must make sure each of them is registered for health care, pension, insurance and other. Our Cyprus company formation agents can help you establish a branch in Cyprus and can also offer you other corporate services.
The parent company will be in charge with respecting the accounting regulations imposed by the Cyprus financial authorities with respect to the activities completed through a branch office. This way, the parent company will be required to file its audited financial statement with the Trade Register in Cyprus. These must be translated into Greek or English before being filed. The parent company will also be in charge of filing audited financial statements for the branch office on a yearly basis.
Our company formation specialists in Cyprus can offer advice related to the accounting requirements imposed on foreign companies here, no matter if they operate under a branch office or subsidiary. They can also assist you in case you want to open an offshore company in Cyprus.
The branch office is required to file income tax returns on a yearly basis. These returns will be complied based on the information in the audited financial statements. With respect to the taxes a branch office must pay in Cyprus, it will be subject to the 12.5% corporate tax rate on the income generated in Cyprus. If the branch office sales goods subject to the VAT, this tax must also be paid in Cyprus.
With respect to the value added tax, in order to be able to pay it, the branch office must register for VAT with the authorities in Cyprus.
Our Cyprus company formation agents can help you register your company for VAT.
Foreign companies interested in having a business presence in Cyprus must often choose between branches and subsidiaries. However, a Cypriot branch office has several advantages over the subsidiary. Among these benefits we mention the following:
Our company formation consultants in Cyprus can offer more information on the advantages of starting a branch office here.
Cyprus is one of the most appealing investment destinations in the European Union, considering that:
Please contact our Cypriot company formation specialists for more information on each registration procedure.
Although setting up a branch in Cyprus is a simple and straightforward process, the entire incorporation procedure may last up to two weeks, depending on the notary and banks schedules. We are here to provide clients with all necessary information on company formation procedures in Cyprus.